Boston cops arrest people who videotape their actions

They’re invoking laws against wiretapping, which you might naively think were passed to protect the people from the authorities, not vice versa, [Boston Globe/Daniel Rowinski, New England Center for Investigative Reporting; Radley Balko, Reason “Hit and Run”] Now lawyer Simon Glik, who was arrested for recording an arrest, is suing three cops and the city [NLJ]


  • Does this law make all video surveillance (stores, exterior security cams on private property, etc) illegal? and surely the police video of my poor driving is inadmissible without my consent? yes, but that is a public safety issue; the video is being used in a public safety support role. and so is the video of the man being arrested by three cops – that video is supporting the public safety of the man being arrested.

    two party consent is good in protecting the rights of people who in the privacy of their home find themselves being wiretapped. but on a public street, public actions should be public property.

  • If its in public and I can see it or hear it, there’s nothing wrong with whipping out the cam.

    I wonder if the cops are going to arrest the local Action News talking head & cameraman? No? Then how is Joe six pack with a cell phone video any different.

  • Because the “local Action News talking head & cameraman” are covered by freedom of the press, most likely; although anyone with a blog could conceivably call themselves a member of the press these days (?).

  • Equal protection under the law. Plus, if you start getting into the question of who is the press, that opens up a whole other can of worms (eg the govt deciding who gets the special treatment, which conveiently would only be those favorable to those in power.)

  • Video surveillance in stores and private property are fine, if they do not record audio. “local Action News talking head & cameraman” are fine because both parties (head and cameraperson) consented to the taping.
    MA is a state where all parties to a conversation must consent to its recording.